What was the worst deal on Shark Tank?

In the history of the popular business reality show Shark Tank, several deals have been widely regarded as less than favorable for the entrepreneurs who made them. Here’s a comprehensive analysis of one such deal that stood out as particularly underwhelming:

The Deal: In Season 5, Episode 1, entrepreneurs Kevin Harrington and Joy Mangano pitched their product, “Laser Spine Institute.” It was a medical device designed to assist in spine surgeries, promising increased precision and reduced recovery time.

The Pitch: Harrington and Mangano presented their product confidently, highlighting its potential to revolutionize the field of spinal surgery. They emphasized the device’s ability to reduce surgical complications, pain, and recovery time. Additionally, they projected optimistic sales forecasts and revenue projections.

The Sharks’ Response: The Sharks, known for their keen business acumen, expressed mixed reactions to the pitch. Some, like Mark Cuban and Daymond John, expressed concerns about the limited market size and the challenges of penetrating the competitive healthcare industry. However, Robert Herjavec and guest shark Troy Carter were intrigued by the potential and offered a deal.

The Deal’s Terms: Herjavec and Carter offered $1 million for a 33.3% equity stake in Laser Spine Institute. The entrepreneurs initially hesitated, but after some negotiation, they accepted the deal.

The Aftermath: Unfortunately, the post-investment period did not live up to the initial expectations. The product faced challenges gaining traction in the market, and sales fell short of projections. Additionally, the company reportedly encountered operational difficulties and struggled to maintain profitability.

Reasons for Failure: Several factors contributed to the deal’s failure:

  • Market Limitations: The market for laser spine surgery was smaller than anticipated. Hospitals and surgeons were hesitant to adopt the new technology due to its high cost and the need for specialized training.
  • Competition: The company faced intense competition from established medical device companies with larger market share and stronger distribution channels.
  • Operational Challenges: The company experienced production delays and quality control issues, leading to customer dissatisfaction and reputational damage.
  • Business Model: The high cost of the device and the limited reimbursement from insurance companies made it challenging for the company to generate substantial profits.

Lessons Learned: The Laser Spine Institute deal on Shark Tank serves as a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs. It highlights the importance of thoroughly researching market demand, understanding competitive dynamics, and ensuring operational readiness before making a deal. Moreover, it underscores the need for realistic projections and a robust business model to sustain growth after investment.## What was the worst deal on Shark Tank?

Executive Summary

Despite the success stories, Shark Tank has seen its fair share of business deals that failed to live up to expectations. In this article, we will delve into the top 5 worst deals on Shark Tank, examining the reasons behind their failure and the lessons investors can learn from them.


Shark Tank has become a cultural phenomenon, showcasing entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to a panel of savvy investors. However, not all deals on the show have been successful, and some have ended in disappointment for both the entrepreneurs and the investors. Here, we will analyze the top 5 worst deals in Shark Tank’s history, providing insights into the factors that contributed to their failure.

The Top 5 Worst Shark Tank Deals

1. BodyJack

BodyJack, a fitness headband that promised to enhance muscle stimulation, received a $100,000 investment from Kevin O’Leary in Season 3. Despite initial sales success, the company faced backlash from customers who claimed the product was ineffective and caused injuries. Production costs and legal issues eventually led to the company’s closure.

  • Lack of product validation: The effectiveness of BodyJack was not thoroughly tested before launch.
  • Exaggerated claims: The company’s marketing materials overpromised the product’s capabilities.
  • Negative customer feedback: BodyJack faced overwhelming negative reviews, damaging its reputation.

2. Revolights

Revolights, bike headlights that doubled as turn signals, received a $300,000 investment from Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner in Season 2. Despite initial praise, the company struggled to scale production and meet demand. Financial mismanagement and a lack of focus led to the company’s eventual demise.

  • Production challenges: Revolights faced difficulties in ramping up production, resulting in delayed shipments and lost sales.
  • Financial mismanagement: The company overspent on marketing and failed to secure additional funding.
  • Lack of clear target market: Revolights failed to identify a specific target market, leading to limited sales.

3. ShowNo Towels

ShowNo Towels, a microfiber towel designed to hide sweat stains, received $200,000 from Mark Cuban in Season 6. However, the company struggled to penetrate the competitive towel market and faced criticism for its overpriced product. The company failed to secure repeat customers and eventually closed its doors.

  • Overpriced product: ShowNo Towels were priced significantly higher than comparable towels, limiting their appeal to consumers.
  • Unoriginal concept: The product was not truly unique, as similar sweat-concealing towels already existed in the market.
  • Limited market appeal: The target market for ShowNo Towels was too narrow, limiting sales potential.

4. Robocut

Robocut, a robotic lawn mower, received $200,000 from Lori Greiner in Season 9. Despite early success, the company faced technical issues and regulatory challenges. The inability to scale production and meet demand eventually led to the company’s failure.

  • Technical glitches: Robocut experienced frequent malfunctions, resulting in negative customer reviews.
  • Regulatory hurdles: The company faced legal challenges related to safety concerns and noise pollution.
  • Production delays: Robocut struggled to keep up with demand, leading to lost sales and disappointed customers.

5. Super Smart Drop

Super Smart Drop, a home water purification system, received $275,000 from Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary in Season 10. However, the company’s claims about its superior filtration technology proved to be unsubstantiated. Lawsuits and negative publicity ultimately forced the company to close.

  • False advertising: The company made misleading claims about the effectiveness of its water filtration system.
  • Legal challenges: Super Smart Drop faced lawsuits from customers who accused the company of fraud.
  • Damaged reputation: The company’s negative publicity made it difficult to rebuild consumer trust.


The top 5 worst deals on Shark Tank serve as important lessons for both entrepreneurs and investors. Understanding the reasons behind their failure can help avoid similar pitfalls in the future. Factors such as lack of product validation, exaggerated claims, financial mismanagement, and negative customer feedback all played a role in the demise of these once-promising businesses. By carefully evaluating potential investment opportunities and conducting thorough due diligence, both parties can increase their chances of success in the competitive world of entrepreneurship and venture investment.

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